Press release for September 10, 2021
Bryant de Venecia
Cell Phone: (808) 546-0024
Housekeepers call on hotels to bring back daily room cleaning
(Honolulu) – Hotel housekeepers call on their employers to back daily room cleaning and other guest services so that workers can get back to work and guests can have a safe, quality vacation experience. Dozens of housekeepers passed out leaflets to hotel guests along Waikiki Beach, encouraging them to request daily room cleaning.
As hotel occupancies plummets as low as 38% and PEUC unemployment benefits expire, hotel housekeepers are worried about being furloughed. Many housekeepers haven’t been called back at all since March 2020. Thousands of jobs could be saved by reinstating daily room cleaning.
Ending daily room cleaning could eliminate 39% of all U.S. hotel housekeeping jobs and cost housekeepers—overwhelmingly women of color–$4.8 billion in annual lost wages.
Judith Ramirez, a housekeeper from Sheraton Waikiki shared, “We are all here, workers across departments from hotels all over Oahu, coming together to call on the hotels to bring back daily room cleaning. We’re out here leafleting, asking for support from the community and the travelers because eliminating daily housekeeping service hurts everyone. It’s bad for both the workers and the guests.”
Since housekeeping services turned into an opt-in only service, housekeepers are finding hotel room more dirty and harder to clean. Nely Reinante, a housekeeper at Hilton Hawaiian Village said, “It used to take 45 minutes to clean a check out room; now we do it for more than an hour. When I come home after my shift, my body is so sore that I just lay down for hours. I don’t have time for my family anymore because all my energy gets depleted from work, cleaning all these dirty rooms.”
Hotel workers will continue to urge state legislators and employers to do more to bring back guest services so that hospitality workers can get back to work safely. Other municipalities like San Francisco are mandating daily room cleaning at hotels.
Local 5 represents approximately 12,000 workers throughout Hawaii who work in the hospitality, health care and food service industries and is an affiliate of UNITE HERE, an international union that represents over 250,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.unitehere5.org.
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